Ytterbium (Yb)

Ytterbium (Yb)

Regular price $74.95 Sale

- +

Ytterbium metal ingot - one troy ounce - .999 bullion


Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac separated ytterbia from erbia in 1878 and named it after the nearby village of Ytterby, Sweden. It wasn't until 1907 that Georges Urbain, a French chemist separated ytterbia into ytterbium and lutetium and despite disputes over naming rights among other chemists from Austria and America who separated these two rare earths at about the same time, Marignac and Urbain were eventually credited by The Commission on Atomic Mass with the discoveries of ytterbium and lutetium respectively. It wasn't until ion exchange techniques were developed in the 1950s that pure samples of either were obtained and their true chemical and physical properties became known. Ytterbium has some unique properties relative to the other rare earth elements. It has paramagnetic and diamagnetic properties at different temperatures and in different allotropic forms. It has the smallest liquid range (670 °F) of all the metals. It also demonstrates varied electrical conductance of 10 times under different extrinsic pressures, alternating between a conductor and semiconductor. Ytterbium atomic clocks are the world's most stable. Most of its industrial use is as a dopant in the production of stainless steel to improve its properties. It's unique compression dependent conductive properties are used in stress sensors that monitor for earthquakes and explosions. It is also used in solid state lasers, x-ray machines, and in nuclear medicine. It slowly oxidizes in air and slowly dissolves in water. Worldwide annual production is about 50 tonnes.  It along with the other rare earth metals sit atop the British Geologic Survey's Risk List. 

Inscribed on our ingots are the chemical symbol (Yb), purity (99.9%), weight (one troy ounce), and a serial number (this number is unique and will vary). On the reverse is our logo. These ingots are lightly polished, similar to the one pictured. There can be small edge dings, scratches and other small imperfections which do not detract from the inherent value of this rare earth metal. Ytterbium will slowly oxidize in air (and will dissolve in water!) and will develop a darker cast over time. They are best stored in a cool, dry place. A coating of paraffin oil will help to minimize oxidation. As always, weight and purity are guaranteed by Rare World Metals Mint. The solid ingot form of ytterbium generally is considered safe when handled appropriately. Ytterbium compounds can be irritating to skin and eyes and may be teratogenic, so keeping it away from pregnant or potentially pregnant people would be prudent. It's powder form can spontaneously combust and burning ytterbium cannot be extinguished with water. Please keep these ingots intact and in a safe place, do not ingest, and keep out of the reach of children and those bearing children.


Each ingot will be shipped with an assay certificate and with our velvet logo bag for storage. If you are not completely satisfied with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to return it for a full refund (buyer to pay return shipping). Domestic shipping is free for all orders over $199 (enter code free shipping at checkout). For orders of $199 or under, domestic shipping is $9.95. International shipping is via DHL, FedEx, or USPS international express and costs $45 for shipments up to a pound (9 one ounce ingots or less including packaging materials) and $10 for each additional pound. International customers please be aware that your country may levy import duties and/or VAT taxes on your purchase from us. We have nothing to do with this and cannot pay it for you. If you refuse our package because of this extra cost we will take it back and will refund your order in full once received minus the cost of the return shipping. If you are unsure what these import costs will be please check with your country's customs office.